Remember By Joy Harjo Analysis

Decent Essays
Joy Harjo’s “Remember” seems at first to be a simple plea from an unidentified speaker that the listener (standing in for all people) “remember.” “Remember you are this universe and this / universe is you” (lines 21-22), says the speaker. Throughout the poem, the speaker tells the listener to remember sixteen times; “remember” is an anaphora, a repetitive command by the speaker that seems to indicate that “remembering” is what the poem is about. Look deeper, though, and the poem seems to be about the interconnectedness of all things, and understanding that people, nature (plants and animals), the earth and sky, and the universe are all connected and related to each other. Look even deeper, though, and the essence of the poem becomes obvious:…show more content…
They are alive poems” (15-16). The plants and animals have evolved and developed to fill specific roles and niches on the earth. People should not just use the plants and animals without regard for their place on the earth; instead, people should study the plants and the animals, learn from them, and in exchange, protect them from misuse, over-use, or destruction. This is important because “all is in motion, is growing, is you” (23), the speaker tells the listener. If the listener cannot learn from the plants and the animals, cannot protect the earth, or cannot relate to her fellow human, the fragile relationship between the environment and humanity is disrupted, and the growing stops. Without the growth, humanity will soon cease to be, because that growth is what makes humanity what it is, it is what provides the catalyst for people to think, to speak, to advance. “Language comes from this” (24), the speaker tells the listener in reference to continued growth and development, before continuing to describe language as a “dance” (25). This imagery of a dance neatly demonstrates the delicate balance between humanity and the environment, and the need for constant, continued growth. If the movement stops or is upset, the dance is ruined; likewise, without humanity’s continued efforts to protect and learn from (and about) the environment, the earth easily could be
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